Detroit Pistons guard Reggie Jackson is currently in danger of missing the remainder of the 2016-17 season due to a recurring knee injury. Pistons Head Coach Stan Van Gundy stated that Jackson has been playing at “about 80%” all season long, and is continuing to deal with knee tendinitis.

Jackson has already missed the first 21 games of the year following plasma injection surgery. On December 4th of last year, Jackson returned to the Pistons lineup, scoring 18 points on 7-12 field goals, and was 2-3 from three. He added four assists as well, but Detroit ultimately lost to the Orlando Magic by a score of 92-98.

Through 52 games, Jackson wasn’t able to consistently play well for Detroit this year. Although he did have an excellent five-game outburst during the closing days of December — where he averaged 24.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 7.6 assists. Reggie also shot 48% from the field, 41% from three, and nearly 92% from the free-throw line. Detroit went 3-2 in that stretch, picking up wins over the Miami Heat, Charlotte Hornets, and the Portland Trail Blazers.

However, there were certainly some awful scoring outputs from Jackson.

  • 3-11 field-goals for 7 points, 110-77 loss against the Utah Jazz on January 13th.
  • 4-16 field-goals for 8 points, 109-86 loss against the New Orleans Pelicans on March 1st.
  • 1-8 field-goals for 6 points, 115-98 loss against the Indiana Pacers on March 8th.
  • 3-13 field-goals for 6 points, 128-96 loss against the Cleveland Cavaliers on March 14th.

In his last seven games, Jackson is averaging just 10.3 points, and is shooting 33% from the field and 26% from three.

And to know that these are just a few of Jackson’s worst performances this year, should give you an idea of how frustrating of a season he’s had. I don’t believe it helps Detroit and their chances to play him while he isn’t 100% healthy.

But it didn’t end there for the 26 year-old. Jackson was also involved in numerous trade rumors before the deadline, and of course, none were able to surface. The most notable rumor was Detroit becoming engaged with the Minnesota Timberwolves, for a potential point guard swap involving Jackson and Ricky Rubio.

As far as his future in Detroit is questioned, it’s unlikely that Jackson will remain with Detroit for the remainder of his young career. The Pistons signed him to a maximum contract for five years worth $80 million in the summer of 2015, where he’s set to make 16,000,000 in 2017-18, 17,043,478 in 2018-19, $18,086,956 in 2019-2020.

2015-16 SEASON: 18.8 points, 3.2 rebounds, 6.2 assists, 43% field-goals.

For a player who’s showed promise as a potential All-Star point guard (following the 2015 trade from the Oklahoma City Thunder), Jackson’s play has declined miserably. However, it’d be obnoxious to say the injuries haven’t been a reason. In fact, his current knee issue isn’t the only concern regarding his health — as there have been numerous cases of dehydration, as well as neck and thumb injuries from earlier in the year.

When healthy (for which he hasn’t been), Jackson is easily a top-ten point guard in the NBA. His ability to create space off the dribble and to often have aggressive takes is what makes him a valuable player. He’s a very decisive pick-and-roll distributer, which I believe is his bread-and-butter.

Nonetheless, the Pistons will have to lean towards Ish Smith and Beno Udrih in Jackson’s absence — as they’ll find extended minutes for such a critical point in the regular season. Detroit holds a record of 34-40 in the Eastern Conference, and are two currently games within the eighth-spot in the East.

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